Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vendors: The Flowers

One of the easiest aspects of the wedding to keep local and handmade was flower-purchasing and assembly.

For fresh flowers, I worked on a tip from Elizabeth. She had introduced me to a DC farmer's market, Fresh Farm Market. Looking through the list of vendors, I found a flower vendor which, as I saw on their website, hosts parties by appointment to go pick flowers for events. I emailed with Dave at Farmhouse Flowers & Plants to set up an appointment all the way back in February. He sent me a list of flowers that would be in season in June (lots and lots - spring and summer are great times for local flowers) and costs per stem.

June arrived, and in the midst of wedding chaos I schlepped Elizabeth, Mel and my mom out to Brookeville, Md. to pick some flowers the day before the wedding. You all should know me well enough to know that I had no color scheme in mind. I just wanted cool flowers for me, for my peeps (preferably some yellow for KB), and some that we could make into boutonnieres for Eric, his peeps and Shade.

The farm was about a 40 minute drive from Takoma, all the way up Georgia Avenue. Nestled in a hilly, open area, we found the farm - fields of awesome flowers, and a handful of greenhouses. One of the workers showed us around the greenhouses and pointed out what would hold up best, considering the flowers would have to be perky for about 36 hours after they'd been cut.

We walked over to the fields and talked with the ladies harvesting flowers there. We decided on dahlias for my bouquet. We bought some yellow lilies and white hydrangeas for the pillars at the church. I'm forgetting the type of flower I got for my peeps - maybe E or my mom can help remind me. We got the guys some dark red flowers for boutonnieres that matched my dahlias and blood-red snapdragons pretty well.

I came knowing that we needed specific bouquets: two for decoration at the chapel on pillars, three for my peeps, one for me and little buds for the lapels of Eric's peeps and Shade. We ended up with beautiful flowers, as you can see.

My mom, aunts and Nana put together all of the bouquets and boutonnieres with some scissors, ribbon, straight pins and a lot of love.

According to the Bridal Association of America (why there would be such a thing, I have no idea), the average couple spends about $700 on flowers, plus about $150 for the bride's bouquet alone. We spent $105 for all of our flower needs.

Now on to the fakes. We had some flowery decorations at every table. Thanks to the able hands of KB, Amanda, Eric and yours truly, we were able to make our own colorful faux flowers with floral wire and tissue paper. Rick gathered some sticks, and the morning of the wedding Amanda and I hurriedly fashioned the poofs onto the sticks and, voila - easy, cheap, colorful, vaguely southwestern paper flowers.

My sisters Callie and Rachel made the vases - empty Izze bottles with vintage-looking stickers pasted on. It all came together and looked awesome.

The last flowery touch was in your humble narrator's own hair. My peeps and I bought fake calililies and something blue at Michael's, and Amanda put it altogether in a perfect HB-style anti-updo.

All told, the flowers could have been a lot harder without a little help from my friends, and a lot of research on how to be as contrary as possible. But isn't that just like me?

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